26 March 2012

Today we start back in the lab.  Ms. Groves said your workshop went really, really well, and that everyone got lots of useful feedback.

After our free write today, I’m going to offer two mini-lessons, both apply to fiction, memoir and flash fiction:

  1. One on the the fine art of punctuating dialogue–some folks really need help navigating their dialogue sections.
  2. The other from your packet on the virtue of showing rather than telling.  A word to the wise, that showing is one of four things:
  • Direct action — I jumped off the bed.
  • Direct dialogue — “No way!” she shrieked. “I’ve wanted those tickets forever.”
  • Direct thought — Oh crap, I thought, No one will ever believe me now.
  • Sensory detail — The scent of plum sauce from her moo-shu pork filled the house.

Any sentence that is not one of those four things is TELLING.  While TELLING is okay as a bridge in a long story or novel, or even entertaining if you’re a really famous writer/comedian, it is BORING when done by those of us who are mortal (you and me).  In addition, because your pieces are so short (all less than five pages), there isn’t much reason for more than a sentence or two of TELLING.

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